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Full text of "Medical Jurisprudence And Toxicology"

MEDICAL JURISPRUDENCE

room. After a short time he quieted down and went off to sleep. At 9-20 pjn. he was
found dead. Upon examination the body was found lying on its back with the arms
outstretched. The face was placid, and no marked cyanosis was present; there was,
however lividity of the lips, ears and finger and toe nails. Inside the mouth a piece of
flannel, about 1" by 1", was found and behind this there were two similar strips. The
last of'these two was so firmly packed down over the epiglottis that it was withdrawn,
with some difficulty. He obtained these strips by tearing up his blanket and had
evidently suffocated himself by packing them down his throat.—J. Mill Renton, Brit
Med. Jour., Feb. 29, 1908, p. 493.

Homicide.—The following are a few of the cases of homicidal suffocation that came
under my observation: —

1.   A boy, 5 years old, was murdered at Hardoi by his rnouth being stuffed with
leaves.

2.   A Hindu boy, about 14 years old, was murdered by closure of the mouth and
nostrils in a village of Police-Station Mohanlalganj, of District Lucknow.    On examina-
tion of the body at noon on the 31st January 1919—48 hours after death—bruises were
found across the tip of the nose and the lips.   The larynx and trachea were congested
and contained froth.   The lungs were congested with sub-pleural ecchymoses.

3.   A Hindu girl, 10 years old, was found dead in her house on the morning of
March 26, 1919.   On examination it was found that she died of asphyxia due to suffoca-
tion caused by the blocking of the mouth and nostrils and by pressure on the windpipe
and chest   The eyes were closed but congested-    Frothy liquid was issuing from the
nostrils.   The lips were blue and several small bruises were seen about the angles of
Ihe mouth, on both sides of the windpipe and on the right side of the upper part of the
chest    There was extravasation of blood in the soft tissues  of the neck  and  on the
right side of the chest under the bruises.   The lining membrane of the larynx and trachea
was congested and contained fine froth.    The lungs were  congested  with patches of
sub-pleural ecchymosis and exuded dark fluid blood on section.

4.   The  body  of „ Kalka  Chaukidar  of  a  village   in  Police-Station  Banthra,  was
removed from  a well  and forwarded  to  the  college  mortuary.    At  the  post-mortem
examination  held  on  the  14th April  1919—about  60 hours  after  death—several  small
bruises were found on the face and on both sides of the throat.    There were patches
of extravasated blood in the soft tissues on both sides of the chest and the sternum.
was fractured transversely in  its middle.    The  third,  fourth,  fifth,  sixth  and  seventh
ribs were fractured on both sides.    Both the lungs were congested  and  lacerated at
several places.    Opinion:   The deceased died of suffocation caused by pressure of the
chest producing fractures of the ribs and lacerations of the lungs.

5.   The body of a Hindu girl, 10 years old, was found buried in sandy mud on the
bank of a canal at 1 p.m. on the 3rd September 1923.    Post-mortem examination was
held at 11 ajn. on the 4th September 1923.    The eyes were found congested.    The lips
were livid.   A frothy muddy liquid was issuing from the nostrils, which contained sandy
mud.   A thick coat of similar mud was found on the tongue, especially at its base and
the pharynx.    The oesophagus was full of sandy mud,  and its  lining  membrane was
congested.   Sandy mud was also present at the cardiac end of the stomach mixed with
food which consisted of undigested maize and rice weighing about half a pound.    The
larynx and trachea were red in colour and  contained froth and sandy mud as deep
as the upper and lower bronchus of the left lung and the terminal bronchioles of the
right lung.    The lungs were oedematous, and turgid with blood with patches of sub-
pleural ecchyrnosis.   Both sides of the heart contained blood and the pulmonary arteries
were congested.    The abdominal organs were  congested.    There was  extravasation of
blood in an area of 2" x 2" on the under surface of the scalp corresponding to the upper
part of the left side of the forehead and a similar extravasation in an area of 2" X 1"
on the left side of the back of the skull below the top.   The brain and its membranes
were congested.    There was no  injury to the vagina.    The  hymen was  intact.    The
cause of deaih was asphyxia due to suffocation by the deceased having been buried alive.
It appeared that the girl had been thrown down and held firmly by pressure on the left
forehead while she was being buried.

6.   On the JS&id December 1923, the body of a Mahomedan boy, aged 16 years, was
found lying on the roof of a bungalow situated on Mall Road, Lucknow, five or six days
after death.   On examination the following external injuries were found on the body:—

(1)  A bruise, J" by J", on the left nostril.

(2)  A bruise, |" "by J", across the left lower lip.

(3)  A bruise, |" % ¥f, on the left upper lip.

(4)  A semi-circular and curved, bruise, 3" by J", obliquely along the face extend-
ing between the left malar bone and the left angle of the mouth.

{5} Six bruises, varying from J" by 4", on the left elbow.
(6) Two small abrasions on the right knee.